Weekend Links and Updates (Including the Bunny Birth Story)

Finally got around to thinning the carrots!
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In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

"You are my hiding place;
  you will protect me from trouble
  and surround me with songs of deliverance."

Psalm 32: 7

Apparently, we like to do things the hard way around here. We've spent the last several weekends moving stuff from one place to the next, to the next. Whew!

When we moved in, the previous owners left behind a lot of junk. Also, they left a 400+ lb. pool table in the middle of our upstairs master bedroom. Shortly after moving in, and thankfully before we got all our moving boxes onto our property, our pole barn burned down. (You can read about that here.) It took time to rebuild, but when we finally did, we finished getting all our moving boxes into the building and slowly began unpacking.

We have a weird, small house, so unpacking has been tricky, even after thinning out our belongings. Our ultimate plan was to turn the pole barn into a family room, since our whole family can't even comfortably sit in our tiny living room together. We decided our kids would benefit from the pool table, but moving it was going to be difficult. (The slate top is one piece, quite thin, and extremely heavy.)

Then my dad died, and - just when we thought the pole barn was ready to turn into a family room - I moved some of my dad's things (heirlooms, and furniture we needed) into the pole barn. Finally, last weekend, two of our nephews helped my husband move the pool table down the stairs and into the pole barn (without breaking the slate! Yay, boys!), and then hauled the furniture upstairs into the master bedroom.

I'm thrilled with the progress, even though both the pole barn and the master bedroom are still a mess. Baby steps! Oh, and did I mention that the master bedroom has unfinished walls and floor? Again, we like to do things the hard way ;)  But that's ok. We'll get there eventually!

Of course, our big news over the past week or so is the addition of baby rabbits to our homestead. While it's true we've considered raising meat rabbits (they are an easy way to bring meat onto the homestead for minimal cost), these rabbit kits are pets. My children simply wanted the experience of caring for kits. We plan to keep one and sell the rest.

I got the beets canned!
It's kind of a long story, but here's the short version: Originally, my daughter had a male rabbit (Buddy) and wanted to give it a mate. We bought said mate (Pickles), but after many attempts and lots of false pregnancies, we determined she's infertile. Meanwhile, we got my son a rabbit (Coco). Coco was supposed to be a boy, and I never thought to check between the bunny's legs...but next thing we knew, Coco had babies...and they all died because they didn't have a nest to keep them warm (because she had the babies in the middle of the night and we didn't know she was pregnant because we didn't know he was a she). We all felt terrible.

Once we buried my dad, I promised the kids we'd mate Coco and Buddy and see what happened. Well, she definitely got pregnant! She had seven kits, born in a perfect little nest. One was a runt, and died within a day. Another, who was super-wiggly, squirmed out of the nesting box (!) in the middle of the night, fell through the wires of the cage designed to protect the babies from predators, and wiggled across the room before dying of cold. Oh, man. Animal deaths are the hardest part of homesteading.

But I'm happy to say the remaining five kits are fat and happy! Not to mention totally adorbs.

A lot of people are surprised to discover rabbits are born naked. The first time my son saw a baby rabbit (at preschool age) he thought they were piglets. It sounds strange, but it's true! They do look a lot like mini piglets. They even grunt like piglets. So, for your viewing pleasure, here's how much those little bunnies have grown:

Just-born kits, keeping warm in their nest.
A few hours after birth.
A one-day-old kit.
A 5-day-old kit.
At 6 days old, they suddenly look more like rabbits!
At 8 days old, the cuteness could kill you.
At 10 days, they open their eyes!

 From naked "piggie" to little rabbit in 8 days flat! Amazing!

In other news, here's my latest apron. A few years ago, my mom-in-law gave me a cute reversible apron she sewed. I loved it and wore it so much, it got really shabby. So I made a pattern of it...and here's my version.


* Because I clearly don't have enough on my plate (ahem), I created a Facebook group for the Proverbs 31 Woman blog. I hope you'll join us as we discuss home keeping, homesteading, parenting, faith, and more!

* Recall on Blue Beel Ice Cream.

* Dorset cheese recall.

Zesty Zucchini Relish.
* I tried something new this fall: Zesty Zucchini Relish from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. In addition to the zucchini, it has onion, bell peppers, horseradish, and hot chili pepper (with the seeds). It sounds super-hot, but it must not be, because my son (who doesn't care for super-spicy food) loves it, too. I love that it's a great way to preserve zucchini!

* Have you ever made ghee? In addition to tasting a little different than butter, it's shelf-stable for many months.

* You will hear me say again and again that when canning, you must always use a tested safe recipe. But did you know there are safe ways to tweak canning recipes? I would write a post about this, except Healthy Canning has already done an excellent job explaining it all.

* An awful lot of people in our society suffer from hormone imbalances. I do believe most of this is due to the way Americans eat. (Plastics play a part, too, but that's another story.) Sugar and carbs really wreak havoc on our hormones, as do certain foods that raise estrogen levels in the body. You may know that soy is estrogenic, but did you know that chia and flax are, too?

* Most people now know that plastics (not just BPA plastics) alter our hormones. But did you know that some foods have particles of plastics in them? Here's how to spot them.

* If your child has "behavior problems," diet can certainly be the root cause. Another possible cause is a sleep disorder. 

* Everyone seems to plant trees in the spring. But did you know fall is the best time to plant them?

* Fall is an excellent time to feed your garden soil to make a better harvest next year!

* Did you know that some Amazon sellers hijack reviews for their products? Here's how to spot fake reviews.

* When it comes to teens, it's best to pick your battles.

Oldies But Goodies:

30 Fall Crafts for Kids

How to Make Freezer Jam Without a Recipe

Low Sugar, No Added Pectin Apple Peel and Core Jelly 

Old Fashioned Baked Apples Recipe 

Herbal Remedies for Winter Illnesses 
Ah, these autumn mornings!

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